Animals can be used formally or informally as a form of therapeutic intervention for humans. Many types of animals can be used, ranging from big to small – anything from small rodents and reptiles to horses. Some of the most common types currently available in Canada include canine therapy and equine therapy. The term “therapy” is used broadly but there is a distinct difference between formal Animal-Assisted Therapy, which is structured, scheduled, and usually has defined treatment goals, versus Animal-Assisted Activities, which can be spontaneous, timing is as long or short as determined by participants, and there are no treatment goals associated.
Blue, the Carleton Therapy Dog is used as a form of canine therapy for students within the scope of retention and building positive mental health. The work of all Carleton Therapy Dogs is classified as an Animal-Assisted Activity.
Research Informing Practices at Carleton
- TEDx – Therapy Dogs and Recovery from Addiction (2019)
- Animal Visitation Program Reduces Cortisol in Students (2019)
- Stress in Dogs? (2019)
- A Patient Wait Experience in an Emergency Department (2019)
- Selection of Dog and Handler Teams (2017)
- Hounds and Homesickness (2016)
- Effects on Stress Hormones in Humans (2011)
- Group Canine Therapy and University Students’ Well-Being (2017)
- PAWSing Student Stress (2015)
- Quick Fact Sheet – University Therapy Dog Programs (2016)
- USASK – Therapy Dogs provide Love and Support to Students
- UBC – B.A.R.K – Program website
Check out Carleton’s own research on One Health!
- CHAIM – One Health
- Speaker’s Corner: Pawsitive Support with Dr. Colleen Dell
- Speaker’s Corner: Going to the Dogs with Dr. James Gillett
- When Research Meets Passion – student blog by Jylenna Wilke
- Endlessly Curious – student blog by Miski Dahir